U of L learning center goes beyond the classroom

Published 9:20 am Monday, October 24, 2022

KENTUCKY TODAY

A new center that centralizes and streamlines the process to provide students with hands-on learning experiences beyond the classroom, known as engaged learning, is now open on the University of Louisville campus.

The Center for Engaged Learning celebrated its launch by holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday.

Engaged learning is nothing new at UofL, where many programs include engaged learning requirements, such as internships, in their curricula. The CEL is under the leadership of Interim Vice Provost for Engaged Learning Gail DePuy and is now the first stop for students signing up to enhance their learning experience beyond the classroom.

The CEL is comprised of two offices, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, and the Office of Experiential Learning. These offices work with the university’s Career Centers, Office of Community Engagement, Office of Study Abroad and International Travel, academic programs and several other units across campus, to connect students with engaged learning activities.

“We know that students who have engaged learning experiences during their college years ask deeper questions in class, are more engaged with their professors and the course material and are positioned to handle real-world problems on the job following graduation,” DePuy said. “The center will expand these types of opportunities so that all students can apply their knowledge to concrete experiences, including those whose majors may not have a direct career path.”

The CEL also provides a single point of entry for businesses and organizations seeking students for engaged learning experiences. U of L says engaged learning helps students increase involvement on campus and develop a sense of belonging, key factors that increase student retention and persistence on the way to earning a diploma.

The CEL is a U of L Strategic Plan objective, and its operation is partially funded by the Gheens Foundation.  The Center is housed on the first floor of the university’s newest residence hall, Belknap Village South.